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Grattan Institute Warns Against Rush To Renewables

A new report of the influential Grattan Institute says it’s a myth that Australia needs to continue to rely on coal-fired power stations in order to keep electricity bills down.

The report by the Institute’s energy and climate change program director, Tony Wood, says Australia can achieve a net-zero carbon emissions electricity system without threatening affordability or reliability of supply.

But the report cautions against rushing to 100 percent renewable energy, claiming that ensuring reliability could be costly.

An economic model of Australia’s National Electricity Market, developed by the institute, found that moving to a system with 70 percent renewable energy, and closing about two-thirds of today’s coal-fired power plants, would not materially increase the cost of power, but would dramatically reduce emissions.

It also suggests that moving to a system with 90 percent renewable energy and no coal, could also be reliable, but would come with additional costs, such as more generation, transmission and storage to ensure supply when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining.

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